Rhododendron State Park

by Steve Hartshorne on June 11, 2014

rhododendron-grove

Rhododendron State Park in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire

With all the ornamental rhododendrons in full bloom here in the valley, I decided to head up to one of the largest rhododendron forests in North America in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. Silly me. Most of the ornamental rhodies you see in people’s yards are imported varieties which bloom sooner than the native ones. Not only that, I could have saved myself a trip by checking the Rhododendron State Park Bloom report at the park’s website.

rhody-rt-32

An ornamental rhody on Route 32 in Royalston

But it was a beautiful drive up Route 10 through Northfield, Winchester, and Richmond, and I took another scenic route back on Route 32 in Royalston and Orange. And there’s a wildflower trail at the park maintained by the Fitzwilliam Garden Club where I saw some ladyslippers, always a delight.

ladyslipper

Special thanks to Miss Mary Lee Ware of Boston and Rindge, New Hampshire, who bought the land in 1901 to save it from logging and donated it to the Appalachian Mountain Club, which gave it to the state in 1946.

ladyslippers

Ladyslippers and partridge berries

 

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